Seldom do you see a team win a Super Bowl and undergo a major facelift in the proceeding offseason, but the Baltimore Ravens will be a brand new squad when they take the field in 2013. The Ravens will be without the defensive leadership that guided them to Super Bowl XLVII, however that might be just what head coach John Harbaugh wanted.
Reports have surfaced that the Ravens were in fact never interested in returning safety Ed Reed who spent 10 years with the team prior to leaving for the Hosuton Texans last month. Reed and fellow safety Bernard Pollard were supposedly responsible for mutiny amongst the team in the middle portion of the 2012 season–Pollard is known for wearing out his welcome and was released by the team in March.
It’s hard to peg Reed as a trouble maker considering he spent 10 years with the franchise that he was drafted by in 2002. Reed was extremely productive as he led the league in interceptions three times and reached seven straight Pro Bowls with Baltimore.
With Ray Lewis and six other defensive starters hitting the road, it appears that the 2013 Ravens will be without a ton of leadership in this coming season. Since taking the job in 2008, Harbaugh has inherited plenty of talented veterans, but now the blame will rest solely on the shoulders of the head coach. When things went wrong on the offensive side of the ball, the scapegoat was always QB Joe Flacco or offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Harbaugh gave Cameron the boot and Flacco is now the highest paid player in NFL history, so the finger will be pointed directly at the head coach in 2013.
The Ravens will be fun to watch in 2013 as the changes will be evident, and Harbaugh is taking on a new and more responsible role.